Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 106 pages
Author: S. Combs-Bennett
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9781939924681
Publisher: i30 Media

The quick guide to creating a family tree, building connections with relatives, and discovering the stories of your ancestors.

Genealogists are like detectives. Working out puzzles is the name of their game! If you have ever wanted to research and document your family history the right way, then Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes is for you! Authored by professional genealogist Shannon Combs-Bennett, this genealogy book explains the joys, challenges, and triumphs of researching your family’s origins. While many people assume genealogy research starts online, Combs-Bennett shows the importance of starting a family tree using documents that can be found in your own home!

Written in a friendly, easy-to-understand style that avoids complex jargon, there are plenty of examples, case studies, and advice that can help would-be family historians quickly get up to speed. In addition to listing best practices for conducting genealogical research, Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes also warns readers about the many pitfalls of family research, from “brickwall” mysteries to time-wasting online searches.

Topics include:

  • Why are people so interested in family history?
  • Evaluating clues, facts, and myths in family stories
  • The importance of linking generations
  • Vital records, from birth certificates to death records
  • Non-vital records, from census forms to wills
  • Religious records
  • Five things that can trip up newbies researching family history
  • Best practices for genealogy road trips
  • Interviewing relatives, and dealing with skeptics
  • Pros and cons of online genealogy research
  • Genealogy communities and continuing education
  • Genetic genealogy basics
  • Understanding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • Genetic genealogy and adoptees
  • Non-paternal events and other skeletons in the genetic closet
  • Visualizing family history with charts
  • Research logs and genealogy journals
  • How to create good source citations
  • Preserving records and research
  • Genealogy software and GEDCOM files
  • Planning for disasters

Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes is not a comprehensive guide, but rather a good overall, basic guide which will give you the basics that will serve you well as you embark on a journey to figure out the origins of your family. Creating a strong family tree will not only satisfy your own curiosity, but will also serve as a record to share with relatives and future generations!

 - Why are people interested in family history?
 - What's in this guide
1. Starting your family tree
 - The starting point for any family history project
 - The importance of linking generations
 - Getting the right records
 - What it feels like to run into a brickwall
 - Five things that can trip up newbies researching family history
 - Case Study: Finding Sarah's connections to the 'Mayflower'
2. Genealogy road trips
 - The great family document hunt
 - "You're wasting your time!"
 - What to include in a portable genealogy kit
 - Taking notes
 - How to protect and transport documents and photos
 - Case Study: David's Ellis Island mystery
3. Online research, genetic genealogy, and other resources
 - Crossing the paper/digital trail
 - Where to start online searches
 - Finding gold in genealogy blogs
 - The dangers of random searching
 - Genealogy communities and continuing education
 - Genetic genealogy basics
 - Case Study: An adoptee's story
4. Tracking and sharing your research
  - Visualizing family history with charts
 - Why source citations are so important
 - Save time with templates
 - Write it all down: journaling your way to success
 - Writing about other family members
 - Case Study: Rose's quest to discover her African-American ancestors
5. How to tame sprawling records
 - A question of organization
 - Using spreadsheets to record inventory and other data
 - Using hardware and other equipment to organize and store records
 - Computer file formats, from GEDCOM to PNG
 - Planning for disaster/s
 - Case Study: Margaret's new approach to organizing records and heirlooms
About the author
  - Pedigree chart
 - Cousin chart
 - Getting kids involved: 20 questions to ask relatives

"I found several things that were new to me and that is where the excitement began. The author takes you step-by-step through the process of researching your ancestry. I love that the first step is 'you.' I totally agree that you have to get your basics down first or you won't have a foundation on which to build your tree. ... I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of researching genealogy and those who have been at it for a while." - Review on


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